Google is a juggernaut in the search world. You probably have SEO tools and Google Analytics. But it can all be a little overwhelming. With so much reporting, where do you look and what do you focus on? These 5 metrics will help you gauge how your website is performing without being overwhelmed!
Roger: Welcome to Local SEO Today, I’m Roger Murphy.
John: And I’m John Vuong.
Roger: Today we want to welcome entrepreneurs and business owners who are watching this podcast, we want to discuss today with… I guess, on the topics of Google Analytics, search engine optimization, and the metrics you need to know about.
John: Yeah, and I think the biggest challenge is, if you are currently working with an agency or you’re kind of doing it yourself, what really should you be looking at in terms of if it’s actually working for you? Is it an effective campaign?
Roger: That’s right.
John: Are you getting a good return on your investment, right?
Roger: Because people have talked John, in the past, “Well I need to see my ranking, I need to just be on page one, that’s the holy grail, if I just get there, I’ll be happy.” But really there’s more to it than that.
John: I think the whole ultimate goal for SEO is just to be more visible. To appear more because ultimately, what you want is people to click on your website however, even when they click on your website, you want them to do a further action.
Roger: Take action, yes.
John: You know, go on to multiple pages and give… your email, right? Or call you, right? Fill up the form.
Roger: Fill the contact form or the ultimate phone call.
John: Exactly, so what we’re going to do is talk about five things that you should be really looking at in terms of metrics. The first thing is organic search traffic so on Google Analytics you can actually search…do sort date range based on where people are coming to your website. Usually, if there’s five different areas, there’s paid search, there’s organic search, there’s direct search, there’s referral search traffic, as well as social search traffic.
Roger: It should be mentioned or defined organic, you as a business owner whether you’re doing this yourself or you have company hired, when they speak, and when you talk about organic traffic that is none branded, meaning they don’t know your name but they’ve entered in some type of…query for something that has- they’ve found in your website so if your service business, I’m going to say plumber for example, that’s very straightforward one, if someone’s looking for a plumber in their city, and you show up, they didn’t look by name but they’ve looked by plumbing servers or emergency plumber, that’s referred to as an organic search, and those is extremely powerful for you.
John: Exactly, and those are the ones that are free, right?
John: Because if you’re doing paid search, you’re paying per click.
John: Right? So with organic search traffic you want to increase the visibility on search results page as well as click-through rate, right? So the more people who are clicking and finding your website organically that should result in more people…
John: …that are going to inquire to your business.
Roger: If you have to follow the ball, a bouncing ball of depending on your industry but let’s say your a service industry, if someone has typed in the type of service you have and the city, or when its got emergency situation, like emergency plumber, or tree service, or emergency dentist, whatever that is, and they find you, that is a real strong metric that is something you need to track, they’ve didn’t look by your name but they’ve looked by the service you provide.
John: Yeah, make sure you’re calculating it not more on a month-to-month basis but more on a year-to-year basis because especially for a lot of our type of businesses which are service-based companies, it’s all about seasonal.
John: So if you are very busy in the summertime and very slow in the wintertime, well if you are doing month to month comparison it’s going to be out of whack, right?
Roger: Yes, it needs to be sort of, compare this month to a year ago, the same month, that’s how you sort of compare season to season.
John: Exactly, yes. So 30 days, 3 months, 60 days, etc. So it’s actually be very beneficial to work with an agency or…work with someone, or do it yourself for multiple years, and start comparing your over-year traffic growth.
Roger: And ofcourse with traffic, if it’s increasing, that leads to, as you say, more introductions for people who didn’t know you before or people who from… maybe they’ve dealt you before but they forgotten your name so you…they’ve found you but they’ve found it organically so that metric is a very, very, very important one.
John: The second metric is more on the engagement metric, right? So ultimately, you can actually track what your ultimate purpose is. Is it to get people to fill out that form or is it to do call tracking, right? So the metric of really tracking a deliverable, right? So the purpose of people coming to your website, do you want them to fill out that form? If so, you can actually put a pixel and track how many people actually submit on that page, right?
Roger: Or do you want phone calls?
Roger: And that’s where, when you pick up the phone and you don’t recognize them. This is where it takes a bit of training for yourself but then you want to ask that metric, “We’re just checking our marketing effort. Where did you look us up? Where did you find us today, and what- by what keyword?” People are very open to say, “Oh no, I found you on Google or I found you into such, and such” You know, so… these type of metrics and John, in Google Analytics, it talks also…you can watch the number of pages they’ve viewed.
Roger: And for how long they’ve viewed them because that means the longer they’re on, and the more pages they’ve viewed, the more they like you, they like your site.
John: Yeah and the cool thing about Google Analytics is you can actually draw deep as you want as well, so if you want to know exactly who your user demographics are, clicking on to your website, you’ll find out from Google Analytics. You will know exactly which location they’re finding you from, which device, what time. There’s a lot of information there, right? But again, it’s more drilling deep once you have everything running and set up, right?
The third thing I want to talk about is more on the metrics of backlinks and number of backlinks, and quality of backlinks. Right? Because if you’re doing SEO yourself or you hired someone, it…backlinks is an indication of building authority to your site, right? And Google can only do so much to know and determine if you’re running a good business, right?
Roger: So the definition…just so you’re aware, that link that comes to your site from somewhere else is almost a…reference of, as you say, John, of…like a sign of, “we recognize this business as quality business because we’re putting a link from us to you.” So it’s kind of…a shot in the arm, so to speak, or a…
John: It’s like a referral…
John: …online, right? So someone recommends you from another site come in to your site.
Roger: There are different qualities of links that’s something you should touch on also.
Roger: We’re not going too deep today but you need quality, not quantity.
John: Yeah, you really have to focus on, there’s two types of links: dofollow and nofollow. Focus on the dofollow links, focus on higher authoritative pages within your industry, within your vertical, someone that’s maybe an expert or…contributor on somewhere else, referencing your website so the more links that you have, the better. There’s types of anchor text within a link which is a branded term link or a keyword-rich, right? So just really focus on, if you’re getting more links of quality over the years, you should be improving your ranking.
Roger: Because it is a signal Google is watching to say, “This website must be a quality website because it’s got these quality links coming in to it.” And John, it needs to be mentioned, it takes a long time to get a quality link so if you’re doing yourself, don’t get discouraged but it is hours and hours of outreach, trying to get a link back to your site.
John: Especially if you’re not getting in this industry, right? You don’t really know how it works, just you know, think about it. Why would someone link to you, right? The easiest thing to really think about is, you know, if you did a press release, right? And if you’ve tried it, or you’ve tried to get media attention. Think about how many hours and dollars, and how much hard work it is to get that press, right? That’s exactly how hard it is to get a backlink as well, right? Building relationship, hard target…and then potentially contributing a piece of content, in which that will generate a link.
Roger: Yeah, so it’s very important, very time consuming, so whether you’ve got…trying to do it yourself, or the company that’s working for you, ask the question: “How much time you’re spending attempting to get links for me?” Because that will help your SEO.
John: Exactly. The fourth…thing I want to talk about is you know…as you know, mobile traffic has probably surpassed desktop based on the majority of the industries, right? Unless you’re more of a B2B kind of industry, people still search on desktops but for any service or localized business, it’s all mobile.
John: And with mobile first indexing, you want to make sure that your website is mobile optimized for Google search who…you know, for mobile.
Roger: It’s called responsive so whoever’s built your website, whether you did it yourself or someone else, it needs to be responsive so that it will reformat itself properly for…devices.
John: Yeah, and you can actually have a different type of website just for mobile…I guess a short version of what it would look like on desktop. Just because of the size and you know, basically the real stage you have on mobile is a lot less like that’s on a smartphone…
John: …than on desktop, so you really have a shortage of time to convert someone, right?
Roger: Yeah, and it should be mentioned that people on their device, they’re far more likely to take action, meaning they’re mobile, they’re looking for something so the idea of just more call-to-action…
Roger: ….on your website being in front of them, helping them, make that phone call or connect with you, that’s the key thing.
John: So for mobile, I think any service emergency type of service, restaurants, anything that’s actually immediate within a small local area, right? It really is important as a small business owner. The last thing I do want to touch upon is the click-through rate, right? So that’s a very good metric to determine because what you want to figure out is, are you getting a very high bounce rate versus people actually staying on your website.
John: Right? So you know, as much as you’re spending a lot of money and potentially you may or you may not be doing AdWords, or Facebook ads, or whatever maybe, impressions are one thing, clicks on those impressions are another thing, and even within those clicks, are they staying long?
John: And how- which pages are they landing on?
John: And you know, what action are they doing afterwards, right? So you know, just understand the whole metrics of…you know, SEO.
Roger: If you have a high bounce rate, meaning they come in and leave within seconds, that is hurting your SEO capabilities because Google says, “This is obviously not the right website for what this person was searching for because they left so quickly.” So you’ve got to…you know, watch that bounce rate to make sure that those pages are informative, that are sticky, that engage them so they stay longer on your site.
John: Yeah, the whole point is, write for the users, have a website that you’re trying to position yourself as the expert so that you’re satisfying users intent, right? So the more rich and well-researched, and positioned you are as the expert, the more likelihood you will rank and have better metrics…
John: …and perform better ultimately, right? So hopefully these tips will you understand a little bit more about if you’re doing SEO yourself or you’ve hired someone to really see if they’re doing a good job.
Roger: And then you can ask better questions, better educated questions of your provider to find what exactly is going on when it comes to the SEO…the activities that they’re doing for you.
Roger: Yeah. Well John, thank you today…
John: Thank you very much.
Roger: …for this input. I hope you, the audience watching today get some solid information on this, some advice, and techniques you can use.
John: Thank you.
Roger: So thank you for today and we’ll see you again at Local SEO Today.
John: Thank you.